Sam Bartusek ’20, Geosciences

I worked at the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences to analyze the Southern Ocean’s 2016/2017 heat wave, which stands in stark contrast to a decades-long cooling trend. Its magnitude is unprecedented since at least the early 1980s. I first analyzed sea-surface temperature data and profiling-float data from the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project to understand the magnitude of the event in the context of climate averages. I then conducted a heat and salinity budget analysis of the ocean’s near-surface waters to understand the progression of the event, examining where the heat anomaly came from and how it dissipated. I worked mostly on MATLAB, developing my programming skills and my capacity for problemsolving and resilience. The project helped me gain a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the day-to-day progress of science in general and climate science in particular.